YSR Congress president and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has alleged that Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu was trying to hand over the leases for bauxite mining in Visakhapatnam Agency to corporates through backdoor.
The government has announced to cancel the bauxite supply agreement it had entered into with the Anrak Aluminium Ltd, a joint venture of Ras-al-Khaima and the Penna Group, but it has not cancelled its order (GO 97) transferring the tribal land to the AP Mineral Development Corporation. The company, which invested Rs. 5,300 crore, would take legal recourse and Mr. Naidu would permit the company to carry out operations on the pretext of court orders. “There has to be clarity on whether the Chief Minister is opposed to the project or not? His claim that he is prepared to spend 100 per cent revenue generated from bauxite mining on the welfare of Girijans clearly exposes his willingness to allow mining in the scheduled area,” he alleged.
Moreover, the government white paper on bauxite mining clearly mentioned that it vigorously pursued the issue with the Centre on a bimonthly basis till the clearances for the second stage were accorded. He ridiculed the claims that Mr. Naidu had set aside the project following objections raised by tribal people during his earlier tenure as the Chief Minister.
“Mr. Naidu, in fact, mounted pressure on the Centre to amend the Schedule V of the Constitution for facilitating mining operations. But it was after the intervention of the courts that he had gone back,” he said. About the charge that former Chief Minister late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had permitted mining in the Agency area, he said YSR had realised the gravity of the situation and hence did not apply for the second stage clearance from the Centre.
Mr. Jagan further charged the government with indulging in large-scale irregularities in land allocations. As amny as 498 acres had been allotted to his brother-in-law N. Balakrishna’s kin in Jaggaiahpet at Rs. 1 lakh per acre, while the prevailing market price was upwards of Rs. 50 lakh, he said.
Referring to the liquor death issue, the YSRC president said that the government must take the responsibility of the deaths as the victims consumed spurious liquor which was withdrawn from the market subsequently. Alleging that there was corruption in sand mining, he said going by the government’s records it should have secured revenue of more than Rs. 1,500 crore this year, but what was actually realised was only Rs. 810 crore in the last 15 months.
On the proceedings in the Assembly after the YSR Congress boycotted the last two days of the session, he said the government had passed important Bills, including the one related to setting up of private universities without the Opposition being present in the House.